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29 November 2012

INTERPOL training in India aims to combat the criminal networks behind illicit trade

MUMBAI, India – Senior police and law enforcement officials have gathered in India for the International Training and Capacity Building Seminar on Trafficking in Illicit Goods, to identify how authorities in the region can work more closely to combat all types of transnational and organized illicit trade.

Co-hosted by INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods Programme and the Central Bureau of Investigation of India, the three-day seminar (27-29 November) brings together some 90 police, customs and prosecutors from across India, as well as representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Participants are discussing the challenges posed by illicit trade and the criminal networks behind this type of crime, and developing solutions to strengthen regional and international cooperation for a more effective global response.

Ahmed Javed, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Maharashtra Police, India, said: “This is a starting point for this sort of cooperation and interface with INTERPOL. I hope, and I am sure, that it will go a long way because this kind of coordination, this kind of sharing of materials and experiences, should make the effort more effective for all of us.”

“The moving of illicit goods and products has become that much easier, therefore it is important that this sort of cooperation is enhanced and we see further coordination in the days to come,” he concluded.

Issues raised during the seminar will include enforcement strategies, partnerships with the private sector, global brand protection, the rise of illegal online trade, ways to improve cooperation, effective legal mechanisms, successful initiatives and operations, and the wider impacts of illicit trade.

The seminar, delivered with the support of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the participation of intellectual property crime experts from Australia, Thailand, Japan and the United States, was held within the framework of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods initiative which aims to identify and dismantle the organized crime networks behind the manufacture and distribution of illegitimate products.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation and the Maharashtra Police to raise awareness about the damaging effects of illicit trade and the central involvement of transnational organized criminals who manufacture and distribute counterfeit and illicit products worldwide with a total disregard for the health and safety of consumers,” said John Newton, the head of the Trafficking in Illicit Goods unit.

“The next step is to work with the Indian authorities to identify how we can bring the police, customs and the private sector closely together to proactively disrupt the often dangerous activities of these organized criminals in India and surrounding countries,” added Newton.

A key factor in the fight against illicit trade is close cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector. Representatives from industries particularly affected by illicit trade, such as the agrochemical, computer, footwear and garment, movie and film recording, tobacco and skin care industries, are attending the seminar to share their experiences.

Ahmed Javed, Additional Director General of Police, Maharashtra Police, INDIA

John Newton, Assistant Director, INTERPOL Trafficking in Illicit Goods Sub-directorate